Posted on Categories:Periods, Puberty, Rites Of Passage

My daughter just got her period? Now what?

We can never really know when our daughter will start her period.  Sometimes it can take us completely by surprise, and even when we are prepared, there can be questions of what to do next.
Working through each of these will help ensure she has everything she needs to know covered off for the first little while, and remember to keep the conversation going.  Don’t stop once she’s started, there will still be plenty of questions and uncertainty.
EXPLAIN THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE

Ensure she knows what is actually happening and that her period is not just a random bleed each month.It is actually SO much more than thatYou can use the following video to help explain the menstrual cycle.

Ensure to use correct terminology for her anatomy.  We all know where our lungs, heart and brains are and what they do.The same should apply for our ovaries, uterus and cervix.

KNOW WHAT IS NORMAL

The first few years of her period can be a little different to what we have come to know is normal and regular.Tracking her cycle is a very important part of knowing her body and finding what is normal for her.

Four things that are normal (anything outside of this is considered abnormal)

1 – Cycle length of 21 – 45 days.It can take two years for it to become a regular 26-32 cycle, and fluctuations are normal
2 – Bleeding for between 3-6 days
3 – Blood loss of between 30-80ml over the course of her period
4 – Colour can change between red and brown, and is often brown to start with.
Bonus 5 – Pain is common, but is not normal.Anything outside of these should be closely monitored.Our periods are very good at giving us clues of our overall health.

 

PREPARE WITH PRODUCTS

The options we have available now are so fantastic!

– Biodegradable and organic disposable pads
– Reusable pads
– Period underwear and swimwear
– Biodegradable and organic disposable tampons
– Menstrual cups and discs

Spend some time looking at all of the options and seeing what your daughter is the most comfortable with.There is no right or wrong here, it really is personal preference.  Practice with them to ensure she knows how they work and signs of when to change.

ADDRESS THE PHASES

Having a menstrual cycle means we are cyclical beings and it’s normal for us to feel differently, behave differently, create differently and even eat differently in each different phase of our cycle.

Just like the seasons, we move through four different phases
– Menstrual phase/Inner Winter
– Follicular phase/Inner Spring
– Ovulation phase/Inner Summer
– Luteal phase/Inner Autumn

This is where cycle tracking comes in and can help guide us to better work with our own seasons.

SHARE STORIES & HONOUR HER

It can feel lonely as a teen or tween going through these changes.Help her feel less alone by sharing your own first period stories.If you have other special women in her life, ask them to share their stories as well.Talk about what life was like for you at that time.

Acknowledging this rite of passage is important and will help her know of the special place she holds in her family and her wider community.Do this in a way that honours who she is.Some girls are happy for others to know and a celebration to be had, other girls would prefer a quiet, more intimate acknowledgement.

My in person and online workshops go into each of these much deeper, and both mother and daughter come away with a newly formed bond.
Posted on Categories:Periods, Products

Plastic Free Periods for Plastic Free July

It’s Plastic Free July and it’s time our periods are no longer a burden on the environment.  Did you know that many mainstream brands of pads contain plastic, which means they take 500 years or more to break down.  A recent study has found that some mainstream brands of pads contain 2.4g of plastic per pad and 36g of plastic per pack of pads.  That’s up to 5 plastic carry bags per pack, and does not include the packaging.*

We can do so much better than that, and thankfully we now have options to have completely plastic free periods.  Here’s my favourite products that contain no plastic in their products.  I also consider whether they contain dioxins and other chemicals, which can affect our bodies and the environment.

 

DISPOSABLE PADS

LOVE LUNA – Biodegradable organic bamboo pads

TSUNO – Bamboo pads

TOM ORGANIC – Biodegradable organic pads

BAMBOO BABE – Biodegradable and compostable organic bamboo pads

 

REUSABLE PADS

HANNAHPAD – Certified organic cotton and compostable reusable pad

YONI PLEASURE PALACE  – “See My blood” Organic reusable pads

 

PERIOD UNDERWEAR

Not all period underwear are created equal.  Period underwear is such a great addition to the sustainable options for periods, but recently it was found that some brands contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs).  PFA’s are a class of toxic chemicals linked to significant health impacts like cancer, reproductive problems, and endocrine disruption. They also do not easily degrade in the environment or in the body and can accumulate over time.  The following brands do not contain any PFA’s

MODIBODI – Organic cotton or bamboo and spandex

LOVE LUNA – Cotton/Elastine and Bamboo.  Coming soon here  🙂

 

MENSTRUAL CUPS

TOM ORGANIC – 100% medical grade silicon with Medical grade recyclable green plastic steriliser case

PELVICUP – 100% Certified Medical Grade Silicone

HELLO CUP – medical-grade TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). They are hypoallergenic and free of BPAs, silicone, rubber and latex.

MOONCUP – 100% medical grade silicon

 

References

https://www.natracare.com/blog/pack-of-pads-contains-as-much-plastic-as-five-carrier-bags/#:~:text=New%20study%20has%20found%20that,more%20plastic%20than%20previously%20thought.

https://edu.rsc.org/feature/single-use-plastic-in-period-products/4013167.article

https://bettergoods.org/best-period-underwear/#:~:text=The%20testing%2C%20which%20took%20place,reproductive%20problems%2C%20and%20endocrine%20disruption.

Posted on Categories:Periods, Puberty

Dealing with Excess Oestrogen

Why do we need to know about excess oestrogen and what can we do about it?

 

Before we look at excess oestrogen, let’s have an overview of what oestrogen is.  We have three kinds of oestrogen, each made in different parts of the body, some are made in the fat cells and adrenal glands, but the most, during our menstruating years are made in the ovaries.  This one is called estradiol.  This is the queen of all estrogen’s.  It’s our happy hormone.  It stimulates mood and libido as it boosts serotonin (which promotes feelings of well being and happiness) and dopamine (which is associated with motivation and pleasure). Estrogen also makes us care for others, and if you notice in your own cycle when it’s easier to care for others, and when you find yourself less tolerable, it could well be due to the rise and fall of estrogen.

 

It also has many other benefits for bones, muscles, brain, heart health, sleep and metabolism.  It also enhances sensitivity to insulin, so helps prevent insulin resistance, which is linked to PCOS.

 

Estrodial is a growth hormone, so as long as its there it’s helping all of the beneficial things grow and be supported.  One of it’s main job is to also grow the uterine lining to prepare for a baby.  The more estrodial you have, the thicker your uterine lining will be and the heavier your period will be.

 

On a quick side tangent, if you take the hormonal birth control pill, your ovaries are not making estrogen, as your hormones are essentially shut down.  So along with this you are not getting all of the wonderful benefits of estrogen on the things above, which may impact your long term health.  Something that we do not get told and is important to consider.

 

Back to estrogen.  During certain times in our menstruating years, it is normal for the balance of estrogen and progesterone to be out.  This is in the first few years of having our cycle, and during perimenopause, which could be up to 10 years before our periods eventually stop.  The reason for this imbalance is that we are not ovulating each cycle, and therefore not producing progesterone.  Progesterone is another essential hormone that is only released once the follicles have released the egg.  While progesterones main job is to hold and nourish a pregnancy, it also has a pivotal role in counter balancing estrogen.  It helps thin the lining of the uterus, while estrogen thickens it, it helps prevent breast cancer, while estrogen can promote it, it helps boost hormone thyroid while estrogen suppresses it.

 

The menstrual cycle has been considered the 5th vital sign, and you can see why when getting the balance right or wrong can have real health implications.

 

So how can we tell when the balance is out?  Excess oestrogen has many symptoms.  These include:  

  • Heavy periods
  • Breast tenderness
  • Cysts
  • PMS
  • Painful periods
  • Endo
  • Fibroids
  • Menstrual migraines
  • Mood swings and irratibilaty
  • Moodiness and meltdowns
  • Depression
  • Weepiness
  • Mid cycle pain
  • Brain fog
  • Weight gain around middle
  • Bloating, puffiness or water retention
  • Abnormal smears

 

Remember, it’s the balance of estrogen and progesterone that we want to work out.

 

Some reasons why this might be occurring

  • Anovulatory cycles (common in teen years and perimenopause)
  • PCOS
  • Poor estrogen detoxification
  • Poor diet
  • Gut issues, like constipation
  • Stress, higher levels or cortisol which competes with progesterone
  • Birth control pill
  • Environmental toxins, which are all around us.  Particularly BPA’s

 

Another thing to consider with our teens is that our hormone receptors are very new to the sudden influx of hormones and therefore very sensitive to them.  Until they get used to the new hormonal flow this can have an impact on how they feel emotionally.  Everything is that little bit extra heightened.

 

There are ways we can address this imbalance, but it’s important to know that all of the symptoms above are not normal and can be addressed for better overall wellbeing.  Important to also know that if you are experiencing these things, and have not received the help you need, find another doctor or practitioner who is specialised.  As we head into peri, these things can worsen with more hormonal fluctuations, and despite what we’ve been told, we don’t have to put up with it.

 

Address excess oestrogen through:

  • Supporting liver detoxification and gut health.  We want to make things as easy as possible to move through us
  • Make sure youre getting enough dietary fibre so we can eliminate through the bowels
  • Drink plenty of filtered water, again, helping it eliminate through wee
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Sweat – move your body in a way that sweats
  • Eating brocolli, cauli and cabbage helps binds to excess estrogen
  • Eating a carrot a day helps live detox
  • Track your cycle, notice where and when you experience the symptoms
  • Loose excess weight
  • Seek assistance from a qualified hormonal specialist
  • Look at Vit D, magnesium, selenium and Vit C and B levels, 

 

If your daughter has had her period for a couple of years, and she is still experiencing and of these symptoms, or if any of these is causing her to miss school or be in lots of pain, please don’t wait to have her assessed by a specialist.  An integrative practitioner is best.  Someone who will look at her diet, lifestyle, health history and overall health to get a full picture and find the cause, rather than treating the symptoms.

 

Posted on Categories:Puberty, Rites Of Passage

Signs your daughter is grieving her life before her period

It is very normal to feel a sense of loss and mourning with any big life changes we have.

Think about your own life experiences when you’ve felt that sense of loss and grief.  Moving into motherhood is often a time women feel that sense of loss from their carefree childless selves, as do many women as they cross into menopause – grieving their more youthful selves.

Many of our girls will have that same sense of loss with their first periods.  This could come at different times:

  • The first time they really learn about periods and what their bodies do
  • When they get their first period
  • A few months into their periods and navigating all that it brings.

The sense of loss, grief and mourning can show up in a number of different ways, so it’s important to know what to look out for in order to support your daughter through it.

Here are some signs that your daughter is grieving her life before her period.

A feeling of loss

Loss of the person she was before
Loss of how simple and free things were before
Uncertain of where she stands with people, including family members, and society

Denial

She may refuse to talk to you about her period and not tell you when it’s started. She may try to hide her underwear or products.

“No, nothing is happening”

Isolation

She may feel isolated and like nobody knows what she is going through. She might want to be alone a lot more.

“Nobody understands, they’re not me!”

Anger

She may feel like being a girl is the worst thing, and having to deal with periods is just not fair. This may also show up as resentment or bitterness.

“I hate being a girl”

Depression/Anxiety

She may wonder how she will get through this, with a lot of “what if” questions. Particularly with going back to school and being at school.

“I feel overwhelmed, how will I get through school like this?

 

We can support our daughters by allowing her to feel exactly what she is feeling.  She is going through the natural process of loss and that is okay.  Allow her that space to feel loss, to grieve and to mourn, while also showing her the wonderful side of the phase she is now stepping in to.  It’s also okay to feel this loss at the same time she feels joy and excitement for her new phase of life.

This process may take some time or may be over quickly, and it will be an important part of her own transition.  How you guide her through this will also play a part in how she sees herself as a woman.  By modelling to her the wonderful parts of being a woman, continuing to hold space for her and normalising conversations, without pushing, she will come through feeling supported.

 

Posted on Categories:perimenopause, Rites Of Passage

5 reasons why you need to prepare for perimenopause in your 40’s

You know how important I think it is to prepare our young tweens for their periods.  I’m finding it’s just as important to prepare us ladies for perimenopause for our overall wellbeing.  Same for motherhood, but I missed that boat at the time, and I know there are so many woman doing important matrescence work.

So here’s 5 reasons why we need to prepare for perimenopause in our 40’s.

  1.  The hormonal changes of perimenopause can start at age 35 and it can take up to 12 years to reach menopause.  Menopause is reached once you have not had a period for one full year.
  2. It’s not just hot flushes and skipped periods. Perimenopause can bring on anxiety, weight gain, brain fog and insomnia to name a few. BUT it’s not a one size fits all. Knowing the what, why and how it’s happening for YOU means you can best advocate for your own overall health.
  3. It’s as much an emotional, mental and spiritual transition as it is a physical one. If you think of the emotional and mental changes you went through at motherhood, you’re about to embark on similar shift. What life has been asking you to look at, and you’ve not yet dealt with, will show up now.
  4. If you had a tough time around your first period and entering motherhood, it could mean the same for menopause. But it doesn’t have to be!
  5. We are entering one of the most magical phases of our lives, and we shouldn’t have to struggle with symptoms.  I hear so many women who don’t feel like ourselves anymore, or feel worthless and no longer important in society. It shouldn’t be that way.  We should be revered as the wise ones, and we can be.

 

If you want to delve a little deeper into each of these, see the below video, which was a live on instagram

 

Is there anything in there that surprises you? If you’re feeling alone, lost, insecure, or just want to go through the phase prepared and supported, Awakening With Perimenopause is the course for you.

 

 

Posted on Category:Rites Of Passage

5 Reasons why we need to prepare for perimenopause in our 40’s

You know how important I think it is to prepare our young tweens for their periods, well I’m finding it’s just as important to prepare us ladies for menopause. Same for motherhood, but I missed that boat at the time, and I know there are so many woman doing important matrescence work.

 

So here’s 5 reasons why we need to prepare for peri-menopause in our 40’s.

  1. The hormonal changes of peri-menopause can start at age 35 and it can take up to 12 years to reach menopause.Menopause is reached once you have not had a period for one full year.
  2. It is not just hot flushes and skipped periods. Peri-menopause can bring on anxiety, weight gain, brain fog and insomnia to name a few. BUT it’s not a one size fits all. Knowing the what, why and how it’s happening for YOU means you can best advocate for your own optimal health, in all aspects.
  3. It’s as much an emotional, mental and spiritual transition as much as it is a physical one. If you think of the emotional and mental changes you went through at motherhood, you’re about to embark on similar shift. What life has been asking you to look at, and you’ve not yet dealt with, will show up now.
  4. If you had a tough time around your first period and entering motherhood, it could mean the same for menopause. But it doesn’t have to be!
  5. We are entering one of the most magical phases of our lives. We shouldn’t have to struggle with symptoms, or not feel like ourselves anymore, or feel worthless and no longer important in society.  We should be revered as the wise ones, and we can be.

 

 

Is there anything in there that surprises you? If you’re feeling alone, lost, insecure, or just want to go through the phase prepared and supported, Awakening With Perimenopause is my course for you.

 

Come and join me. https://bloomingperiods.co/awakening-through-peri-menopause/

Posted on Category:Podcast

16 – Pelvic health for teens and young women with Jen Dugard

Jen Dugard is the CEO of Body Beyond Baby PTY LTD, creator of Fitness Professional certification Safe Return to Exercise and author of the book How to Love your Body as much as your Baby.

With 15yrs industry experience Jen’s ultimate mission is to ensure all mums are looked after safely & effectively within the fitness industry. Having sold her group fitness business in 2018 Jen is educates, presents & mentors across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore & Taiwan.

As a fitness-entrepreneur Jen’s most recent creation MumSafe™️ serves both mums and fitness professionals alike; ensuring fitness professionals are properly educated and up-skilled in working with their pre & postnatal clients whilst simultaneously educating mums themselves and connecting them with these trainers via the website www.mumsafe.com.au

In this episode we talk about what to look out for regarding Pelvic Health for our teens and young women.  We discuss UTI’s, hypertonic pelvic floor, crossfit and more.

Listen on Spotify

Listen on itunes

 

Find Jen Dugard at
Web: Mumsafe.com.au
Instagram: MumSafe
Instagram: Jen Dugard
Facebook:  MumSafe

Posted on Categories:Periods, Puberty

13 ways to celebrate your daughters first period

celebrate her first period
We celebrate so many of the important milestones in our children’s lives, but celebrating her first period (menarche) has been one rite of passage that’s been left off that list.
It’s time to bring the celebration back. During your conversations about periods you could talk about ways in which you could celebrate, and get some ideas from her. The important thing is to make it appropriate for your daughter. Some may not want a big fuss, while others may feel like having something more celebratory.
It’s also important to note that while the celebration or acknowledgement on the day is not the be all and end all.  To really honour your daughters cycle, and have her know this is a beautiful part of being a woman, it’s important to have many conversations as you’re noticing her develop and many supportive conversations during the first few years of her cycle.
If you’d like a few ideas of how to celebrate her first period, here are 13 suggestions: (13 for the average number of cycles we have each year)

13 ways to celebrate your daughters first period

  • A bath run and a foot massage.
  • A cuddle on the couch and watch a movie
  • A mother/daughter date to a special café for lunch.
  • A family dinner together
  • Baking a favourite cake
  • A special get together with aunties, grandmothers and other special ladies who may offer words of loving encouragement. Like a little blessing way ceremony.
  • Get your nails done together.
  • Book a night away and spend a whole day and night in each others company
  • Have a day off to do something nice together
  • A special piece of jewellery
  • Redesign her bedroom to make it more appropriate for her age.
  • Give her a box filled with special items that she can take out each time she bleeds to honour herself. Could include heat pack, special tea or hot chocolate, dark chocolate, special period underwear, pampering body product, red nail polish, non toxic, essential oils, crystal, special journal, bath salts, special book, a special item of jewellery, and a special note from you.
  • Have ongoing positive conversations

If your daughter has already started her period, it’s not too late.  You can always jump in now with a celebration.  Perhaps next time she gets her period you can carve out some time together to try some of the above things.  She may not seem very receptive at the time, but when important rites of passage are supported positively, the impact it has on her outlook of her own body is also positive.
If you want help with preparing her for her first period, seek out a workshop in your area with myself or some of my facilitators, or look into my online workshop Happy Flow.
Posted on Category:Podcast

15 – Why Unschooling with Christie Edwards

In this episode I’m talking with Christie Edwards, unschooling mother of four.  We talk about the how’s and why’s of unschooling for those looking at stepping outside the conventional school system and into a new paradigm of unschooling.

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iTunes
Find Christie at:

Instagram: Christie Edwards

Instagram: Becoming Mother

Resources:

Sandra Dodd’s Big book of unschooling

Posted on Categories:Podcast, Uncategorized

14 – PELVIC HEALTH WITH JACQUI TOOHEY

Jacqui Toohey is Health & Fitness Coach helping women to build strong, healthy minds, bodies & habits so that their strongest, fittest and healthiest years are ahead of them not behind them. 

In this episode we talk about the importance of looking after how pelvic health through perimenopause, what to look out for and strategies to help.  We talk about the importance of exercise and building muscle as well as working with someone trained in womens health.

 

 

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iTunes 

 

Find Jacqui Toohey at:

Web: Mumsafe.com.au

Instagram: Jacqui Toohey

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden

Hormone Repair Manual by Lara Briden